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America 22, Washington 21, Us 16, Afghanistan 16, Koran 16, U.s. 13, Obama Administration 10, United States 9, Clinton 9, China 9, Islam 7, Reuel Marc Gerecht 6, Bible 6, Fda 6, Bpa 5, Illinois 5, Chicago 5, Milton Friedman 5, California 4, Los Angeles 4,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    September 9, 2010
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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the obama administration's foreign-policy with reuel marc gerecht. also "los angeles times" reporter andrew zajac. and a discussion on the u.s. labor market with economist j. bradford delong. this is "washington journal." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] caller: caller: caller: caller: caller: host: general petraeus, secretary clayton -- glenn beck, among others, agreed that the dove out of reach center should not burn at the koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. now we want your opinion whether you see it as a free-speech issue or not. you can see the numbers on the screen this morning. for the first 45 minutes we will
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be talking about this and going through the newspapers. you can also send us a tweak to -- tweet, tweet certification.com -- twitter.com/c-span-wj. here are a couple of articles about this. it has become headlines everywhere. u.s. embassies brace for karan burning protests.
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this is from the associated press. governor andate's u.s. embassies around the world preparing. from "the washington examiner" newspaper here in washington --
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again, that is in "the washington examiner" newspaper. we want to hear about what you think about this issue. michael, first up, independent line. caller: good one. i was going to say according to the supreme court this man does have the legal right -- hello? host: we are listening. caller: this man does have the legal right, as we know, but we also did not have the right to cry fire in a crowded theater. my position is, i was wondering, why isn't this man being brought
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up for acts of treason because he can see potentially what this could do to traipse -- the troops in harm's way. i did not understand why barack obama, his administration, is not considering the possibility this man should be brought up on an act of treason. if he is going to do this and the privacy of his home, it is different, but he is broadcast across the world and it will start out rage and a backlash which could potentially hurt a whole lot of innocent people. host: new york city, mike, democrat. caller: i agree with everything that man just said. but here is what i see in all of this. every time any my -- every time something comes up that is going to inflame the arab world, i would like to know from these arab moderates, they are murdering muslims daily and they
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did not have the types of protest they have in the streets, taking people's lives. i happen to agree with this preacher down so that these people are not peaceful. the koran is not a peaceful book of anything. host: trenton, new jersey. norman, a republican. is this a free-speech issue? caller: first of all, i believe the reverence comments and actions -- the rev. deposit comments and actions threaten our democracy. we have the military across the world fighting terrorists. and the terrorists unfortunately used the koran muslim faith as a backdrop. the reality -- i do not know, the gentleman that just got off the phone had a chance to read the koran but it is not as most
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people think it is. just as the new testament and the old testament. and anybody who would take their time to read it with no that what is being practiced by the terrorists, they are using it as historical late in the past religious groups -- protestants, we have done the same thing. host: all right. dallas. moving on to charles, a democrat. what do you think of this issue? caller: i am a first-time caller. i think it is a free-speech issue. but i a really concerned about the religious aspect -- i am really concerned. i am surprised some mainline religious leader has not stepped up to the plate and voiced their opinion about this. at age -- host:, actually, a lot have. we will get to that issue in a
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few section -- sections. here is "the washington times." just a little bit from this article.
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that is "the washington times." here is "the washington post." evangelical leaders tried to reach out to the pastor who proposes burning the koran.
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bill, and did -- independent line. caller: this guy is getting publicity for his own personal self. it endangers the troops, americans, it endangers christians. this is a terrible message of hate. this man is not a truly religious figure. it is horrible. host: pennsylvania on our
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republican line. jim. caller: yes, please don't ever think this is about tolerance. this is about fear. we are fearful of islam. islam means submission veered all over the world we are submitting in the west to their delight -- demands. the member, peter, when there is a bible burned or an american flag burned it, which is the ultimate sign of liberty to the same leftist's defending the koran, when you have famous art work, virgin mary but that face smeared with deng and hung in the brooklyn museum and a crucifix in urine, these are celebrated as a great example of the first amendment in america. and the same left has no problem with attacking christian symbols, christian sensibilities through movies and films that degrade the christian -- "the last temptation of christ" and all of these, they defend islam. is it -- it is a strange thing because the left does not really
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fear the right wing -- host: glenn beck and franklin graeme also condemning them, is it a left-right issue? caller: it is a sign of compassion of the christian. christians are not killing people all over the world in the name of their god. in one time they did, but they went through a renaissance, the mac and a card. we have a separation of church and state. islam has not reached that yet. i grew up in a christian home but i am a very great fan of the south park, family guy, funny shows. every other cartoon has a picture of jesus taught dancing or on the toilet or doing something horrible. the comedy channel has and episode where mohammad was going to be pictured in the comedy channel caved in, while they allowed them to degrade the jesus and the catholic church. and the denmark cartoon issue. host: we got all of that.
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but to the point, what is the bottom line for you on this issue? caller: the bottom line is it is not about bombs and bullets, but when it comes to islam, which is a religion of conquest. it is about using our system in the west against us. using our tolerance. the danish cartoons are a great example. host: "usa today" says this incident is a reminder how inconvenient the constitution can be. this is according to a professor whose media law class discussed the case.
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another professor, alan wolfe from boston college --
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rose in los angeles, a democrat. caller: hi. i am absolutely appalled that they would consider to burn the koran. there are religious zealots in every religion and to play god is unbelievable. i just see that we are going back in time. we have become -- host: ohio. republican. caller: good morning. host: please, go ahead. caller: i think this is a national security issue. it may be a free-speech issue at
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the same time. but the propaganda victory they will achieve a from watching those korans burned cannot be overestimated. and i am afraid president obama may have to comment on it, too, and get ahead of this unfortunate. host: the white house already has, called it is crystal. caller: i have a feeling he will have to comment. robert gibbs will be asked about and as we build a port saturday it gets worse and worse. and again, i fear for our troops and our embassies and i just wish there was something legally he could do. host: front page of "the washington post." debate may brown out quiet 9/11 reflections.
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we are asking about the planned koran burning by the doe world outreach center. please allow 30 days between your calls. fort worth, texas. martin is a democrat. caller: i agree with this last guy. i believe this is more of a
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national security issue and it should be treated that way. you have a probe of the minister that does not have the understanding to pull you know what out of a boot if the directions were written on the heel. we need to make sure that this is looked at in a national security way. i would also like to say that here we are again in 2010 about to have another conflagration of some kind over a stinking religion. get rid of religion, burn of the churches and meet in your homes with your bibles and pull your money together and do good things for people, we don't need religion. host: secretary of state clinton spoke at the council of foreign relations yesterday and she was asked about this issue. caller: it is regrettable that a pastor in gainesville, florida, with a church of no more than 50 people could make this outrageous, distressful,
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disgraceful plan and get the world's attention. but that is the world we live in right now. it doesn't in any way represent america for americans or american government or american religious or political leadership. host: the next call comes from eugene, oregon dear richard, independent line. caller: i think everybody is looking at this wrong. it seems like all through this whole 9/11 thing they got everybody -- you have different colored days and everyone was worried about it. we lost the war. the whole thing is i respect this pastor, the fact that we are not going to be scared. i don't like the populace and being scared. i think it is a horrible thing that we can't go burn some paper. it is just paper. host: lakeside, montana, patty,
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republican. caller: i am calling in regards to mr. jones. i think he should be credited for what he is doing. there is scripture and the bible where jesus went to the temple and turned over the money changers, the tables, and cleaned house and did not ask anybody if it was ok. he did it because he said you are using my house -- it is opposed to the house of prayer and you are using it for thieves and this dynasty -- it is supposed to be a house of prayer. our country was free and the muslim religion is the opposite from christianity as black as from white. these muslims come in and use our freedom and all of these things for their advantage but their intent is to make everybody be a muslim or die. they are the ones who chop people's heads off. host: a tweet --
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quick e-mails. shis is christopher hitchin' latest column in a "of vanity -- of "vanityfair." he has throat cancer. his question of whether or not he would convert.
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the next call is from michael in prescott, arizona. caller: hello? host: michael, we are listening. go ahead. caller: i think it is -- i kind of get upset that everything we do regarding the muslims -- we are not to say it -- allowed to say this or that. and i think it is horrible. and as far as this pastor goes, i mean, he is supposed to be a man of god. i go to church and i have been taught tolerance and what have you. he is just in siting trouble. if he is a man of god, shouldn't he be promoting peace and unity and brotherhood and all of that? but i also get totally upset --
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like the thing in denmark. you know, that is the extremists' versus the moderates and i think this guy is an extremist christian. host: athens, georgia, on our republican might. it is john. go ahead with your comment. caller: this guy is a not and what he is looking for is attention. you all, the media, are just feeding that. what i think really is the bigger problem. you have the right to do that. host: we are feeding it and do you think the u.s. embassy and general petraeus and secretary of state clinton and president obama are all feeding it as well and glenn beck? caller: here is the problem with that, ok? the media starts feeding it and other people feel like they have to weigh in and then it keeps going and going. last weekend i saw a little small grass fire, 3 feet in diameter. if instead of putting it out we got out and stand it, we would
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have big problems. i think unfortunately the problems we've got is, pretty soon it becomes this big story and people have to feel like they have to weigh in on it. back in the 1970's, there was this is saying, what if we gave a war and nobody came. i think it is this a message which. if he burned korans and nobody heard of it would not be a problem. host: in fact, the president spoke about this on "good morning america." he is exporting the florida minister to listen to the better angels and call off his plan to engage in date koran burning process. he called "good morning america" in an interview to air thursday, listen to the pleas of people asked him to call up the plan. the president called it a stunt. lakeville, minnesota. independent line. caller: i heard the article you
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read about the past the speaking andt pentecostal was sism heeling and this pastor should basically work at converting muslims to christianity and not burning the koran. and what he should be doing is not putting our troops in harm's way over this. host: jeff tweets in -- this is from "the new york daily news closed book this morning. nypd on a mosque -- this is from "the new york daily news" this morning.
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detroit, daryl, a republican. caller: good morning. first i would like to comment on the flag burning question, and that is for years we have been putting up with flag-burning and no one seems to mind. this is nothing but an extension but i am a catholic. maybe the of muslims leaders would have their own discretion by burning a ton of bibles in commemoration of the crew shades -- crusades. my point is this, we have to look at this with open eyes. unfortunately muslims do not. host: elizabeth, san antonio, texas.
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democrat. caller: it is elisabeth, right? host: yes. caller: i certainly agree that the first amendment protects this man's right to do this. however, he also has the responsibility if he considers the social impact of his actions. i agree with the previous caller and with the email comments that this man has a constituency of about 50 people and he has a right to say once to say but this has really been fanned into an international situation where now we have our troops in danger and i think the media also has to consider their responsibility and how that -- they have given this man so much weight. host: a tweet -- from "the new york post" this morning.
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springfield, illinois. republican. caller: as a muslims i am -- i
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am very offended, and i am a liberal moslem, if you don't believe it. people do not realize how revered the koran is. if you taught -- have to wash your hands. the idea of being burned is very offensive, just as if a crucifix or a bible was burned. there is not a muslims allied that would even fathom doing that to the bible. why? there is a much overlap. jesus is mentioned 25 times. we have a chapter named mary. for this idiot to burn the koran he is in part burning part of the bible. the old testament and the new testament are together. it could be that the koran also
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would be in the same thing but revealed much later. so for him to think about burning the koran is as if he were burning the bible. people need to realize in a global society, being all fended and having the consequences of that offense, he needs to stop. host: do you see the point that some viewers have made about this being a free-speech issue? caller: definitely a free-speech issue. but it has responsibilities. the constitution allows people the license or the freedom. but for it to be offensive -- we cannot use the n-word, or any r- word there is a good spit on " the daily show" about that. i think there is an issue as a whole society, we do honor the
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rights that we have the but in order to of sand -- 50 people of sending the entire muslim world -- all sending the entire muslim world. i wrote a book called "christ jesus, the son of mary," and i am sure it would be helpful if people read that book and the whole point is jesus christ is a central figure in the koran. muslims are not muslims until they acknowledge the miracles, but miraculously birth. and for him to destroy that part of a koran should be offensive to christians. host: where is that book available? caller: i believe it is amazon.com, but if you google it. host: thank you for giving your perspective. talking about the proposed koran
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burning on 9/11. leslie, a democrat, boston. caller: good morning. i was inspired to call because of the man who said that the koran is just paper. that is just so ignorant. it is not just paper. the same republicans who got so upset about people burning the flag, they would not say that the flag is just made out of cloth. they would not say a crucifix is just a piece of wood. they are deliberately overlooking, as the previous caller just said, name holy and symbolic value of what is going on. and the republican talking points trying to equate the islamic center at park 51 with this act is like equating an act of religious tolerance with an act of hatred and bigotry. republicans know that if they really spoke out against this thing they could stop this guy
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but they want because they actually want to control people through fear. they want to win elections through propaganda. host: but both sides -- democrats and republicans have all spoken out against this. caller: but when the republican speak out they have a little twist in the talking points saying this is just as bad as building a mosque at ground zero which is and not at ground zero and did not a mosque. they are trying to draw up a false parallel -- something that would incite violence around the world and an act of inclusion that could symbolize religious tolerance around the world. host: john, washington, d.c., republican minority on the call -- republican line. caller: i feel this issue is just free-speech and this country is absolutely all about free speech.
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whether we like it or not, i agree with both people. i did not agree with what they are doing, but the koran burning, i think the result is negative but our free speech should be protected. and for the proposed site to the muslims center, i believe with them, that they should be the to do with a one, but i feel it is a little inconsiderate. anyway you look at it i agree with free-speech because it is very american. a tweet -- this is from "the new york times" this morning. today is rosh hosanna.
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the next call comes from ed from santa fe, new mexico. caller: good morning, america, and the world. i recall not long ago that no gibson -- mel gibson had a big problem with what he had said to a state trooper while he was under the influence of alcohol
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and driving while drunk. his statement to the trooper was, and his accusation was that the jews were responsible for all of the wars in the world. my response to that is, he is absolutely wrong. jews are not responsible for all of the wars in the world, but religious zealots are. host: an e-mail. the next call comes from stevens point, wisconsin. caller: america needs to sit down and read the koran. not trying to be rude. but the thing is that i know the
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koran has been burned before by christians. and they are mad at us. but muslims have burned our bible, killed christians in lebanon -- i know this for a fact. young lady who is lebanese, a born christian, and she tells had they -- how they had to come to america because they were hunted down and killed by muslims. why is it ok for muslims to do this to christians but if we speak out we are haters, racist. christians are taught not to kill. in the koran -- i read it in my own eyes -- in the koran you can tell nonbelievers. jesus christ never taught that. please, please. this is not about hate. it is not. it is about the fear of a muslim country coming in and taking my rights away. host: here is some other news. here is "the financial times."
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castro voices doubt on cuban model.
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this is an "the financial times" this morning. also one of the lead stories in "the miami herald." "the washington post" --
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she goes on to name names, potential replacements at the end of the article. that is an "the washington post" this morning. lancaster, south carolina. mike, independent line. caller: good morning. i am commenting on that feet -- preacher down in florida down
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there. can you hear me? don't you know that he is listening to you all this morning on the tv, like i am? but i have a suggestion. why don't the peter tried to sell the books for a couple of thousand dollars a piece and then i am sure he could sell them. and then he can burn the money. but wait a minute? it is against the law to burn money. thank you for taking my call. host: arizona, democrats and line. caller: 50 miles from tucson. i have actually read the koran and all i got out of it was pay your alms. i thought it was going to be full of hate and violence and i started reading it and i said, this is the third book of the series and a red back and i read the torah and the gospel and they koran they really do not think a preacher should be burning the koran.
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host: this is from a tweeter -- two news articles with conflicted headlines this morning. this is "the wall street journal." health outlays still seen rising. this is how "the new york times" plays it.
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two newspapers, of varying headlines on the same story. tennessee. paul on our republican line. what do you think about the proposed koran burning? caller: i got an interesting perspective and i think everybody ought to hear this one, including the extremist muslims who obviously hates our country and the things we do here. one thing people are just completely forgetting about, if
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we are so scared that this is going to make some muslims mad or some extremists mad because this guy is burning their bible, well, maybe they did not like us in the first place. as for the preacher, i do not think it sets a good standard for a pastor to burn anybody's bible. i am wondering if their bible teaches forgiveness and toleration and all those things or does their bible teach to hates americans and cut their heads off and dragged their bodies down the street and hang them from a bridge, while they burn our flag and we stand by and say, we can put a mosque in jest -- right next to the 9/11. we are blowing this out of proportion. americans need to get something that they can stand by and lee in -- believe in. host: denton, maryland.
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caller: i just want to say that, as a maryland, -- veteran, it is a hard thing to watch but bottom line, it is his constitutional right to burn the koran. but think is right? no. but as christians we have to stop measuring what we perceive as somebody else's wrong to give us a right to be just as wrong. i heard countless christians speak about burning the koran because they burned a bible. i recall jesus' saying something about turning the other cheek. and we seem to forget certain descriptors when it is convenient to for get them. the bottom line is, we have allowed the country to be into a cesspool of anti-of this, that, i hate this or anything or anyone that is different from me and it is sad to say that both
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parties have had a lot to do with this. i feel that the republican party has a lot to do with staring up the anti-sentiment. when you faster an attitude of division and then you come and speak against it that is like throwing a rock and then hiding your hands. i believe america is bigger than that and we are better than that and we have got to come together instead of all of this division and it has to stop being fed by media outlets. host: the lead story this morning in "the new york times." court dismisses a case asserting torture by --
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philadelphia, brenda, a democrat. caller: good morning, america. this is just hate and publicity for a man who could not get publicity for five minutes if he was not doing something like this. i just don't understand people who call up here and justify this. america, of you go all over the world murdering people, and toting your bible, believing that your religion and you -- and you as white people are superior to all other people and your religion is superior to all other people. you people need to read your
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bible. you need to read revelations. god is talking about you america. he says he is going to make you a byrne to mountain because you justify the murder and the mistreatment of innocence and you bridey but the world to go along with your illicit and degradation of all things. america, you are just a hateful nation and i just feel sorry to be in this country at this time. you kill people and because someone else has the nerve to stand up against your tyranny you men want to vilify everyone. you are the most hateful people on the fate of two north. and to the person who talks about all the things done to religious artifacts. remember, white people did this. white people did this. good day, america. host: that was brenda from philadelphia. finally from "the wall street journal."
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finally, tim's tweet -- thank you all for participating in that conversation about the proposed koran burning on 9/11. coming up next, secretary of state clinton policy speech before the council for foreign relations on u.s. foreign policy.
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>> small and skinny -- saul alinsky is still used for a blueprint to bring about social change. >> all the stereotypes of what a rabble rouser is supposed to say -- . >> he spent 10 years working with him and writes about his experiences in "radical." sunday night on c-span's q&a. >> at long last the united states of america joined any -- every other industrial nation in the world that says health care is a right, not a privilege. >> senators and congressmen have
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been holding town hall meetings in their states and districts and we have been covering them. watch them on line at the c-span video library and see what your elected officials would say from across the country. it is all searchable and free from your computer at any time. this weekend on c-span2's "book tv," commemorating some timber 11th. the public surprise winner of the event that led up to 9/11. and a detailed talk about the twin towers, their collapse, the cleanup and excavation of the manpower that it took to achieve it. on "after words" arianna huffington says america is losing its dominance and puts the blame on corporations. for all the programs and airtimes, go to booktv.org. "washington journal" continues. host: reuel marc gerecht has been a frequent guest. he used to be but the american
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enterprise institute and now he is that the foundation for defense of democracy and he is here to discuss u.s. foreign policy, particularly in light of secretary of state speech at the council for foreign relations. but if we could start with the question we asked our viewers earlier this morning about the proposed koran burning by the dove world outreach center. i know you have a master's in islamic studies. guest: i know it is a bad idea. it could obviously cause trouble for general petraeus in afghanistan and that is why he commented. i think one has to be cautious about this. you could easily get on a slippery slope where you start to preempt yourself and start to question issues of free speech because of the offense it may be given overseas. so, it is a dangerous issue. it would be better if the
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preacher were not to do this. but i think people also have to be very cautious. censoring ourselves because we don't want others to get mad at us. host: we invited you here to talk about secretary also -- secretary of state clinton's speech and she talked about this being a new american moment. this is a little bit of the secretary's speech. >> this is a moment that must be seized through hard work and bold decisions. to lay the foundations for lasting american leadership for decades to come. but now, this is no argument for america to go it alone. far from it. the world looks to us because america has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale. in defense of our own interest, but also as a force for progress. in this, we have no rival.
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for the united states, global leadership is both a responsibility and an unparalleled opportunity. guest: yes, i think that secretary clinton is recapturing the idea that perhaps secretary of state madeleine albright articulated well in describing the united states as the indispensable nation. i would say this is an evolution for the obama administration. it came in emphasizing almost the opposite, that we may have been the most in poor nation but it was really our multilateralism, our dedication to it and willingness to engage our enemies that would define us. secretary clinton posses big -- speech moves away from that. she spends far less time talking about engaging our adversaries and more time emphasizing
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america's special responsibilities. host: "the wall street journal" pays it a little differently from that. clinton says u.s. benefits from out of reach to adversaries. secretary clinton tell the foreign policy agenda for opening up new areas of global cooperation and healing rifts between the u.s. and its major allies, even as the threats of nuclear proliferation and terrorism out. guest: i am not sure there is that much of a difference. when you go back to when president obama first came to office i think it is fair to say that he and others in his foreign-policy team really thought they could have a successful outreach to the iranian regime, particularly to the supreme leader. that has failed. if you read her speech, there is really no issue there that somehow they are going to make a breakthrough. i think what they are really
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talking now is, can they develop the sanctions regime. to the administration's credit, i think it has done a better job than the bush administration in gathering together many nations. i think the count is now 30 or 32. that have actually implemented some type of sanctions regime against iran. that is where the administration is putting most of its effort. we will see whether it is successful. host: when you look at tehran and their diplomatic efforts or political efforts, what is your opinion? guest: the iranian regime? i don't think they have been all that successful. they got turkey and venezuela to come to their side. they have been more successful with russia and china. i think there is the administration's primary problem. the administration talked a lot about resecting the russian dialogue, resetting the relationship. it is not terribly clear what exactly that means.
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one thing it has not meant is that the russians and chinese really have not given up their lucrative contracts with iran. that is eventually, i think, going to be a huge issue for the administration. robert einhorn it is even in beijing now trying to convince the chinese they need to more fully comply with the sanctions regime. if they don't, the russians and chinese have the potential of actually taking the entire iran policy down by giving the iranians and economic outlets. host: reuel marc gerecht is what the foundation for the defense of democracies. he spent several years as a middle eastern specialist at the cia and a consular officer with the department of state. he was with the american enterprise institute for a long time. he is currently a contributing editor for "the weekly standard" and "atlantic monthly" and
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senior fellow for the foundation for defense of democracies. the numbers are on the screen. talking about u.s. foreign policy, particularly in light of secretary of state clinton policy speech at the council for spared -- for foreign relations. here is a little bit more from secretary clinton's speech. >> as dean acheson put it in 1951, the ability to invoke support from others is quite as important as the capacity to compel. to this end, we have repaired old alliances and forge new partnerships. we have strengthened the institutions that provide incentives for cooperation, disincentives for sitting on the sidelines, and against those who would undermine global progress.
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and we championed the value is better in the core of the american character. a there should be no mistake. of course, this administration is also committed to maintaining the greatest military in the history of the world. and if needed, to vigorously defend ourselves and our friends. host: response? guest: well, again, i think probably the two most important diplomatic efforts -- first, afghanistan. secretary clinton really didn't spend a great deal of time talking about afghanistan in the speech. it is odd considering it will probably be the defining foreign policy issue for the obama administration. we lose in afghanistan, obviously president obama will not go down well. seconds, again, the iran issue. i think they made considerable progress. there was always going to be a day of judgment with iran and whether or not the united states can convince the chinese
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and the russians to stop their substantial trade with the country. as long as the chinese and russians go in and replace the deals -- the iranians certainly will have sufficient cash to move forward and the nuclear program will continue to an advance. host: anything she said in that last little bit of tape that condoleezza rice would not have said? guest: no, i think it is pretty much perfect continuity. i don't think on the most important issues there has been all that much change. certainly on the issue of afghanistan. i think the obama administration has more or less done what they're bush administration probably would have done. on the issue of counterterrorism, i think it is quite similar. the obama administration is certainly defending the executive privilege when it comes to declassification.
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they have been quite strong on issues of using drones, for example. they used them to kill more people than the bush administration did. there is much more continuity, i think, than there are differences. host: let us take some calls. the first cough caller: as for the man who wants to burn the koran, he should be stopped. the reason being, the safety of the troops in afghanistan. that should be the end of the conversation. host: still a big issue. if you were overseas at an embassy, would you be worried? guest: there are so many different issues that can pop
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up, make life unpleasant for american officials abroad. i do not think you need to dwell on one more than the other. it is a mistake. i think it but also a mistake for, for example, former president clinton to denounce the danish cartoons. on certain core issues, secretary clinton was talking about core american values. i think you have to be very careful of that. we can certainly condemn what the preacher is doing, but at the same time, we do not want to preempt the ourselves. europe has had this problem much more seriously than we have. constantly censoring themselves because they fear the muslim reaction at home and abroad. host: what is the genesis of the
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obama administration's new peace policy effort? guest: peace process and is more or less a reflex down in washington establishment, on both sides, but more so the democratic side. i do not think it makes a lot of sense. the element they do not talk about is hamas, which may in fact be the dominant force in politicaltinian community. there are lots of troubles on the west bank. they have made considerable economic progress, but a former classmate of mine, a friend, he did a wonderful piece looking at the inside of fatah and shows clearly that we have a political
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stalemate developing in the palestinian community. the odds of something transformative happening are near zero, i think. host: tacoma, washington. richard on the democratic line. caller: when it comes to the grand issue, i am someone who is agnostic -- karan -- koran issue, i am someone who is agnostic. our secretary talks about it. i think our secretary of state should never get into that minutia. if someone asks the question, why should they have to enter? that is one person's representation of what our country feels or does not feel about another religion. i do not think there are right to do it, but i do not think
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that this would solve anything. guest: i do not think it is wrong for anybody to express their objection to this karan -- koran burning. host: when was the last time you were in iran? guest: a few months ago. they tend to take a jaundiced eye to that. they are selective to whom they give visas. they like to give them to their friends, not enemies. they keep track of what people have done, what they have written track of what people
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have done, what they have written hot way i knew it steve hawaii of was on c-span has seemed aloft a server connectioaway tof
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afghanistan. guest: the pakistani, american relationship has been a long one, for a complex one, the ones that we know for certain, any further injection of the pakistanis into afghanistan, unofficially or officially is bound to cause trouble. it will cause trouble among the postunes. it will cause tremendous problems with the afghan minority, who have long been
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deeply suspicious and hostile to the pakistani rule, afghanistan. particularly, pakistani support of the taliban. host: in "the financial times" this morning, a story about the son of the current president and what his intentions may be. i know you studied at american university in cairo. why is their attention being paid to him now? guest: there are a series of the elections coming up. i think it is clear, assuming his father wants to step aside -- and that is not clear. he is an old man but dictators have a way of clinging on to power. his son appears to want to succeed him.
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it is not certain that the ruling establishment onset that to happen. -- wants that to happen. you have a democratic movement in egypt which would become quite powerful, i think, if the security services would stop pressuring it. i think his son is playing for position within both democratic party's and nationally. he is a fairly smooth operator, as well, good speaking english. he plays well abroad, but night whanot quite well as home. host: is this a concern for egyptian democracy?
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guest: this is the way that it has always been. this will be a good test for the obama administration. it has not quite embraced the idea of democracy in the middle east. it has been cautious about that. occasionally, the president has nice things to say, but in practice, the administration has honed a lot to allow them to do things at their own pace-policy. however, there is a lot of tumult in egypt right now. if the administration were wise, they would certainly begin now to pressure the regime to have free elections, to transition
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into democratic government in egypt. the chances of democracy in egypt are better than they are elsewhere in the world. it is a much more complex society. a lot of organizations there. society has been pounded ferociously by the mubarak regime. i still think there is a chance for a competitive democratic system is there. host: reuel marc gerecht, in your view, what do you make of turkey trying to get into the eu and not making it yet? guest: it has been an aspiration there since the founder of the modern republic made the request. if you look at the direction of
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turkey, there need to join the european firmament, it is astonishing. you cannot find any rule was in the middle east saying that. the dream also has gotten into the bloodstream of devout turks who also want to be a part of europe. at the same time, members of the islamist party are fearful of europe, its moral standards, ethics, the intruding into muslim society. so you have this tension which is severe. however, it is fair to say a majority of the turks would like to be, but many now believe that they ever will.
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some european politicians may accurately describe it as a christian club, but obviously, it will be a difficult path. if you have to make a bet, i would say the european will not let them in. but the process for getting into the eu has been very good for turkey. it has turned the country into an economic powerhouse. host: the illinois. bond on the republican line. caller: a wanted to ask you about the speech that hillary clinton made in front of the council on foreign relations. it was her debut speech as secretary of state. she was introduced by richard haas, the president of the
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organization. she said that she would not have to go so far now to find out how we should be thinking about the future. she also referred to the council on foreign relations as the mother ship. how influential the is the council on foreign relations? when that video was posted by msnbc, that part of the transcript was left out. guest: richard would be thrilled to hear this. some of my very good friends would also be very happy to know that they are the font of wisdom for the administration. the think tanks can, at times, be influential.
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it depends on who is in government, to whom they listened. however, you can easily exaggerate that influence. the u.s. government, sometimes people have a difficulty appreciating this, it is a giant machine that grinds on every day. the amount of paperwork it produces is mind-boggling. people at the senior level literally often do not have time to eat, let alone think, reflect on any level. on occasion, they can look at nsa, op-- essay, op-ed, but we
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should be careful about highlighting certain think tanks. certainly, there would be happy about this. host: are you working on something right now? guest: i am working on a book called "the wave." this is sort of a sequel to a book that i did on islamic paradox. it is the force in the region, and one that we have only just begun to appreciate. host: why did it not pop up in george bush's mind? guest: in some ways, it did. i think he was able to capture and understand the truth, which is, once the democratic message takes hold, it does not let go.
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it has a way of crowding out. in the middle east, democracy is now seen as the only legitimate escape from the dictatorships which have been in publishing the region. this is true on the left, as well as for the people on the islamic right. fundamentalist movements have locked onto the idea that democracy is the only way that you can ethically save a society. they will continue to push for elections. host: in the muslim world, pakistan, turkey, lebanon, would you consider them true democracies? guest: i think turkey is really the only one that will get, more
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or less, five stars, and even there, you may have to take away half. the pakistani people very much like the idea of elections, democracy, but democracy is quite hard, as european history tells us. lebanon is more of the competition among sects. nevertheless, they have tried to establish a democratic system that allows some competition among the sudanese, -- sunnis, istians.d chr host: what do you see that we do not see coming down the road? guest: perhaps the biggest issue
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that is scary -- perhaps it is good to focus potentially on the bad things. what happens if china goes on the wrong path? there is an assumption that as capitalism rose in china, it will moderate, and it will become a team player. what happens if that is not true? what happens if capitalism just makes china stronger, yet, its political evolution becomes ever more fascist? that is potentially an enormous problem. if we were never tested on taiwan, i believe the americans would do the right thing, but one thing that is certain, the japanese challenge on taiwan -- we cannot walk away from -- chinese challenge on taiwan --
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we cannot walk away from that issue. host: detroit, independent line. go ahead. caller: i appreciate the chance to express myself. i have three points. the first being the hypocrisy of foreign relations that america puts out across the world in the sense that we have supported dictators in the past. the iranian situation, eu resolutions. even bringing it home, i converted from christianity to islam. i have read all the books and i consider that a complete set, as someone else said.
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there was the murder of the day sheikh locally who expressed his displeasure with some parts of american policy. i knew this man. it made me lose faith in justice and democracy in this country. guest: i do not know that specific case. is certainly fair to say the united states has a history of supporting, tolerating -- it depends on which country you are talking about. it was something that george to be bush took strong exception to -- george bush took strong exception to. there has been this and you that
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there has been an islamic exception out there. former national security advisers and key is perhaps the most elegant in expressing this notion of the islamic exception allows them, that we should deal with the regimes in place and muslims may take a long time to advance to a western, liberal order. george w. bush did deal with that but it is true we have this issue, of seeing democracy and the muslim world being competition instability, competition between the devil you know, the devil you do not. it is something, perhaps, the
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biggest issue for us in the next decade if we start to see pressure in middle eastern regime to have more representative government. which way will america go? will it signed with the people who want to vote, will it allied itself with the regimes in place? host: reuel marc gerecht has a master's in islamic relations. this tweet coming in -- guest: i was actually just talking with benard. he is a historian of a certain conservative this position, which means, quite correctly, that he always can see the
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darker side of human nature the islamic world has a heavy legacy. moderne in the has not been easy for it to absorb. there is a history of rebellious violence within islam, certainly, seeing that since 9/11. however, it is fair to say that benard has not given up hope, in a recent piece he did in "the wall street journal" shows he believes the islamic history has a good precedent and, on the whole, makes the world a much better place. host: next phone call. caller: thank you.
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i will try to make is as quick as possible. i am a veteran of the united states army. the troops that we have in afghanistan, you can see the enemy but he has to shoot. that is stupid, and i do not want to get into the rules. also, all of these politicians talking about the economy. everything started with nafta. if they say anything else, they are lying. i would love to have the president, washington, truman, johnson, grant, abraham lincoln -- who i think has been misrepresented as a great man.
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guest: i will pass on the issue of global trade because i could say something stupid. on the issue of engagement, it is always difficult for any army who is trying to minimize civilian casualties. there are many differences between the soviets in afghanistan, americans and afghanistan. the preeminent different is the majority of afghans want us in their country. when the soviets weren't there, a standard technique for the army was to -- were there, and the standard technique for the army was to kill anything that moved. certainly, those rules in afghanistan have been loosened, but you do not want to get in a position where you are slaughtering more innocent than
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you are killing taliban. the primary project it -- objective of general petraeus, if i and understand what he is doing, is to do what he did in iraq, which is to protect civilians. that is where you should put the emphasis, not on going out and can the taliban. although that is also an important thing to 2. host: north carolina. john on the independent line. you know the rules, you have to turn down the volume on your tv. another john from tennessee. caller: i want to point out the usa is a republic, not a democracy. russia was a democracy, converted into a republic, and
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is now going back to a democracy. i wish people would quit referring to the usa as being a democratic country. host: thank you, any comment? guest: last time i checked, i do both. host: reuel marc gerecht is with the foundation for defense democracies. what can you tell us about that organization? guest: we are a think tank that came into force after 9/11, dealing with issues of terrorism, living in a post-9/11 world. host: we have one more phone call we want to take. steve in california. you are on the air.
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caller: i was curious, how did you get on hillary clinton, dealing about her current contents -- comments about what is happening in afghanistan? host: hillary clinton, her speech in afghanistan? guest: i think she emphasized in the western collective that effort in afghanistan. i think this is perhaps the most worrying issue for the united states. it is fair to say the european commitment is in a 10 shaky. the dutch are on the way out. even the british are having trouble. it is very important for the obama administration to be quite
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determined in what they do. certainly, having in the back of your mind, that there is a date at which american forces will start withdrawing, is highly counterproductive and will be difficult with the europeans because they will be thinking about withdrawing even more quickly than we are. that is an issue that, i think, will be the most troublesome issue for the obama administration for the rest of its term. host: and the import of yesterday's speech? guest: it was sort of a kitchen sink speech. there was everything in it. it is hard to say it was a thematically powerful speech. i think probably the most important thing to come from it is just the obama
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administration realizes that it has a need, and indispensable role, in that you can only do so much with multilateralism. it is a good idea, sometimes it will not just to work. host: reuel marc gerecht, thank you. we have an hour and a half left to go. we will be looking at food safety and we will be looking at stimulus spending. first, this update from campaign 2010. >> senator judd gregg is retiring at the end of the year, republican from new hampshire. the open seat is considered one of the most competitive in the country. on the democratic side, paul hogue is running. on the republican side, several
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candidates are running, and there will be a debate between them. joining me on the telephone is a political director. they will be co hosting the debate. tell me about the candidates and why this is seen as so competitive. >> much of the action has just been with the leading four candidates. you have two pro-choice businessmen who are basically self funding their campaigns against two pro-life attorneys who have been more in the establishment fold. the leading front runner in the race for the year has been the form the -- former attorney general. that is an appointed position. she has been appointed by a republican and democratic governor, something that gives her quite a bit of credence. she has had to navigate some tough waters. she worked for a democratic
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governor who received stimulus funds. when she was working for a republican governor, she did take a parental consent bill all the way to the supreme court. she has credence on both sides but has been largely attacked as an establishment washington recruit, which she is. a person to watch right now has been the other attorney, lamontagne. he is the true conservative in the race. no question about it. but he has struggled to raise money and his profile. he just went on our air, we are one of the first network airing the commercials, and he just
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went on air on tuesday. his opponents have been doing this since september. >> the latest polls between the three candidates? >> i do not have all of polling in this. all we have is one poll in the last week. this one is based out of colorado. we do not have anything locally. that one did show something interesting. it has captured the fact that lamontagne, who was in fourth place a couple of months ago, is now in second place. his main challenge is against
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kelly ayotte, who has been endorsed by sarah palin. that does suggest that she is in first place. >> what about the tea party influence, are they playing a role? >> very little. you talk about their influence in state, they are not really sure where to go. ayotte is seen as such an establishment candidate. someone that we have also not talked about is jim mender. he has been receiving a lot of support within the two-party. -- tea party.
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unfortunately for him come up a lot of that enthusiasm is looking at a delaware race were a tea party candidate has a pretty good chance. they have the same primary as new hampshire, and that has hurt someone like lamontagne. >> we want to show our viewers the latest ads from the the four candidates. >> we have a clear message. stop the bailout, stop the trillion dollar takeover of health care. stop the uncontrolled spending that gave us a $13 trillion debt. i am a prosecutor, not a politician. as an attorney general, and put killers behind bars. i am a fiscal conservative and
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will cut spending. i approve this message because washington must stop. >> i am a conservative, common sense businessman, a pro-choice republican. that is who i am. i entered this race to fix our economy. my republican party is fiscally conservative, strong on national defense, and committed to protecting individual rights and privacy. republicans and every independent can vote in the september 14 republican primary. i ask for your vote. >> i am not the establishment candidate or a new conservative try to buy your vote, but i am the only candidate with a 15- point lead. i will work to cut spending, lower taxes, repeal obamacare, and defend state to rights to protect their citizens. i welcome you to washington and
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i will only serve you. >> we must stay focused on what is important. >> good jobs are created by independent business owners. >> these are just some of the jobs that i created. >> i am jim bender. i know that the freedom to innovate and less intrusive government will lead to jobs. i have put many companies back on track, and i will take those skills to washington. >> of the latest ads from the leading republican candidates for the new hampshire senate seat. what should be respect from tonight's debate? >> tonight will be important. it is the scrum of the primary. kelly ayotte came in as the
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front runner, was seen as an untouchable, but certainly now, things have changed. if you watch that adds, they are very new hampshire-centric. new hampshire republicans are unlike republicans in the south and west. they do not care much about social issues. they care about low taxes and government spending. the real challenge, everyone is saying to stop the spending, we need to create jobs, so what is the difference? binnie has put in at about $6 million into this race. he is trying to inject some social issues. "on in a pro-choice republican." it is interesting, we have been talking about health care and
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other issues, but we may close this election talking about social issues. >> c-span will be covering the debate. c-span.org for more information about the debate. thank you, james. host: we are now joined by andrew zajac, a reporter with the los angeles -- "the los angeles times." who is in charge of u.s. food safety right now? guest: primarily, two agencies. the food and drug administration is responsible for 80% of our food. most meat products are regulated by the department of agriculture. other agencies have a tangential hand in it, but those
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are the two main ones. host: major legislation passing the congress this fall is one of their major efforts. depending on what is past, how would that change how food is regulated? guest: it would not change the structure, and that is one of the criticisms. what it would do it is give the fda dramatically increased powers to oversee the safety of in its bailiwick. most people do not realize this, but fda has to rely on voluntary cooperation of a food supplier to begin a recall. this would give the fda in its own right to recall tainted food. host: how does the reason egg
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salmonella situation play into this food legislation? guest: certainly gives mo wamp -- more momentum to food safety advocates. what more evidence do we need for a stronger hand for regulators to oversee safety? the egg producers in question, certainly those that have been a recall, the fda, usda has that knowledge that they never inspected those facilities because of loopholes, cracks in the infrastructure of regulation. host: this all began with a few producers in iowa, correct? guest: two producers who have multiple producers. lake county egg and hillendale
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farms of iowa. host: are they under the microscope now? guest: yes, fta has inspected both facilities in the aftermath of the of brick of salmonella. there is a laundry list of violations, lack of sanitation. a-push -- 8-foot mounds of chicken maneuver pushing through the containment facility. insects, dead and alive, underfoot, evidence of dead rodents. the catalog of unsanitary conditions. host: a lot of press in the food world about california senator
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dianne feinstein, and whether or not she is holding up the food safety bill. what is the story behind that? guest: she feels strongly about the chemical bpa, a plastics additives. it is very common in the baby bottles, sippy cups. large manufacturers have removed bpa in plastics that children used, but is still considered an essential ingredient in food packaging. the food industry says it does not have a good alternative to bpa. senator feinstein feels it is dangerous. there is very mixed signs on this. -- science on this. she believes regulators should err on the side of caution and should take bpa out.
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she wants to propose an amendment that would remove the restrictions on bpa. people are pointing to this as evidence that the bill cannot go anywhere because is a nonstarter. this would almost certainly inspire the opposition of the food industry, packagers. it is not clear how far the senator would go, whether for push came to shove, if she would insist on the amendment, but has been an indicator of the difficulty this bill faces. host: have food manufacturers signed off on this bill? guest: this is something where all stakeholders are on board, including the food industry. there is some signal to get ready of it -- recognition that enhance regulation is needed. this is an industry that loses
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hundreds of millions of dollars because of people getting sick, foods being recalled. they understand the protocol has to be upgraded, they are on board, but they do not like the possibility of the bpa provision. host: republicans, 202-737-0001 democrats, 202-737-0002 independents, 202-628-0205. journal@c-span.org and twitter.com/cspanwj as well. has the obama administration been good to the fda?
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guest: yes, going back even to the bush administration. again, there is a broad recognition that for years the fda has been funded -- underfunded. the budget process has generally been quite good to them since. host: every once in awhile, you see in the papers, you see a recall of different products. how often is this happening in the country? guest: it is hard to say the frequency. you can go back in your mind the last couple of years, pistachios, cookie dough, spinach, peanuts -- which killed several people. now you have salmonella, eggs. the primary culprits are usually the coli, salmonella, and hysteria.
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it happens often enough and costs us enough money that there is a wideranging understanding that we have to change the way we regulate food. host: first phone call for injuries sajak from freeport, illinois. independent line. -- andrew zajac from freeport, illinois. caller: this is just another example of big business. now we have our place full of the illegals. lax regulations, just like everything these days. that is the problem these days. big corporations making money and stepping on people to get there. guest: one point that i would make, people tend to associate some of the problems we have
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with food safety with a corporate position of food. in this case, most companies are privately held company owned by individuals. if there is a problem with scale, in the issue of food safety, it is not just on the corporate side. it is privately-health operations as well. host: if you could react to this tweet from cindy -- guest: that is the whole point of the food safety legislation. the fda right now, usda, are reactive agencies. they tend to spring into action when there is a confirmed outbreak, when something bad happens. this would give the fda the
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tools to identify possible outbreaks in the early stages or to prevent them by requiring manufacturers to have plans to prevent outbreaks of food borne illness. right now, there is not a protocol that you need to have, but this would require food manufacturers, growers to have plans. here are the steps we are taking to ensure our food is being raised, packaged, shipped in sanitary standards. host: oregon. you are next. go ahead. caller: you are probably the only person i have not spoken to about this in the last five months. it has to do with the country of origin labeling on the products. i can only assume this is
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happening coast-to-coast. in the supermarkets i shop at, the country of origin is supposed to be clearly printed on the label, large enough for the average consumer to read. this is not the case. it is in such small print, and quite often, the ink is so faded you cannot see it. i believe they are doing this on purpose so people do not know products' buying meat coming in from australia, mexico, and canada. i live on a very limited income, so i tend to buy the cheaper products. i was applying -- buying 1-pound chubbs of meat.
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there were some pretty gross things in there. i ask the person who worked there, and she told me, do not tell anyone i told you this because i could lose my job, but do not buy that product, it is garbage. guest: country of origin labels -- there are requirements. in a package of meat that i bought over the weekend, there were four countries listed. host: really, and they mix it all together? ground beef does not necessarily come from one count? really? -- from one cow? guest: part of the story of globalization is the
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globalization of our food supply. i think there is still a question, the side of clear the bridge is -- which could be a legitimate issue. there is also a question about whether or not the last place where the food passes through is labeled. sometimes where it is grown, raised is put on the label, but not where it is packaged. you do not know the trail of places that something has been. it could be from copps, the food comes from china -- fruit cups, the fruit comes from china, but the rest is packaged in thailand. host: when we get food from overseas, such as fish from
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china, vegetables from thailand, are they as regulated as products here? guest: no, and that is a huge bone of contention for local growers. they maintain there is very little inspection of what is produced in vietnam and china, some of the main producing countries for shellfish and fish. they say they are at a competitive disadvantage because they are required to meet rigorous invent -- environmental standards. so there is much less inspection of food coming into the u.s. host: our country of origin labels required for products like fish? guest: yes. host: next phone call. conn. go ahead, bill. caller: thank you for c-span.
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i still do a bit of animal welfare. i also grew up on a farm. it is well known the government covers up a lot of stuff. these are all factory farms right now. they always showed pictures of cows in pastures, but that is not the case. they are all on top of each other. they give them all hormones, who knows how to say that is. my point is, -- they used to always mention this in the newspaper. the newspaper and media will take advertisements from these big companies. when a company hertz animals and all of that, they did not care
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about people. this was about 10 years ago. a local farmer sold up to a large company. what happened? all the manure there was getting into the well water. then they thought that they would have to evacuate the county. there were flies all over the place. it shows you what they do to the environment. this has been going on for years. host: ok, we got the point. mr. zajac? guest: most people who enjoy the price of how the meat do not live near where they are produced most people do not take into account the conditions that these animals live in.
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in some cases, there have been cruelty cases brought against them. on the other hand, our consumers willing to pay higher prices, for meat products in particular, which are not raised in confinement conditions? is it necessary -- is it necessarily the case that food raised in more humane conditions necessarily more expensive? the way the debate is formed currently, in order to have cheaper prices for meat, we have to do this. host: when it comes to labeling, is it required that organic label, but there are certain requirements for labeling something organic, pharma raised? guest: there is controversy about that. a lot of people understand the marketing benefits of applying a
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natural --bel -- a natura host: what does that mean? guest: what ever you want it to mean, peter. you have to meet certain requirements to say that you are organic, but in many other cases, other terms -- there are simply marketing. it just adds to the confusion in the marketplace. host: when i hear the word natural, i think about chickens pecking on the back door. there host: in a recent article you did for the "l.a. times,"
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writing about the salmonella situation, you said that the owner has a 10-year history of violations. guest: in every state he has operated in, there have been regulatory problems. host: laura tweets here -- guest: it is very difficult under current regulations -- it is regarded as a very serious thing. it requires corrective action, and once the threats are made, you move on.
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i cannot remember the last time a large producer was put out of business by a regulator. host: san francisco, a democrat, and you are on. caller: i believe for the past before you or so years -- four or so years, the fda has not been taking care of people and making sure that foods we consume in grocery stores are up to par. i also wonder, how much of the meat in a local market is formed? is there any way we can tell the difference? guest: a few years ago, usda ask
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producers to refrain from using cloned animals to produce meat as a protocol for introducing them to the marketplace. to the best of my knowledge, cloned meat is not being used in the marketplace, although the capability exists. host: tim tweets in -- that is not the same as clout, it is it? guest: no, a clone is an asexual copy. genetically modified vegetables and fruits have been in our marketplace without labeling for a number of years.
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most of the soybeans and livestock are genetically modified. host: wooded be hard even in an organic much a bolt to -- find a to would it be hard even in an organic much -- double -- would it be hard it even in an organic vegetable to find a seat that is modified? guest: you make a distinction between someone that is a hybrid and a mixture -- something that is a hybrid and a mixture between traditional crossing of varieties -- a hybrid would not be considered a genetically engineered. host: next call, georgia. hi. caller: i was a contractor that built large poultry farms, and i look at it larger situation.
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we are producing food at a very low-cost. if we go back to an agrarian society where most people produce their own foods, what with the cost of food be? zajac.mr. mr guest: that is the argument in a nutshell that most in the agricultural industry make. that would probably be something that a lot of people want to find out. the might be a market for people willing to pay marginally more for food they knew it was raised by what they consider more humane conditions. the: wouldn't whole foods proof of that, whole foods type
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store? a lot of organic -- guest: they say that this fish is formed from such and such a place, a wild fish from alaska. they have information about their producers. but that is whole foods in the overall scheme of things compared to safeways and krogers of the world, a small fraction did a lot of people argue there is more expensive eating that way -- more expense with eating that way as opposed to going to a traditional grocery chain. host: andy zajac has covered technology in chicago and he works for the tribune co., " chilly times" at "chicago tribune." -- "l.a. times" and "chicago
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tribune, was a graduate of oberlin college. next call. caller: my big concern has been voiced by many people, the use of chemicals in food production. some of that huge ones are things like organophosphates. another thing that is a major concern is good packaging itself -- food packaging itself, whether it is the material that the packaging is made from, or whether there are food additives. at the same time, prefer to while ago, the beef production -- referred to all while ago, the beef production. it seems like over the years, there is no protection from the things that are considered proprietary, the things that are considered acceptable.
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i just don't understand this. how can you produce food and put it on the markets and still have some any concerns like this? and have people brush it under the table? thanks. guest: the issue of antibiotic resistance is quite an important one right now. it is one that the fda is being quite aggressive on. they are trying to pressure we producers -- pressure meat producers to use fewer antibiotics because of the possibility that people consume them will lose resistance -- or lose the effectiveness of antibiotics and. that is one aspect of the fda is working hard on. the broader issue of the chemical additives along the food chain -- a big chunk of that is connected to the globalization of the food
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supply. . don't know what the answer is if something comes a long way from china, there is generally conditions that require preservation. again, it comes down to an economic argument. what costs are we willing to bear for what people would consider healthier and/or more to mainly based foods? -- more humanely raised foods? host: what can you tell us about margaret hamburg? guest: former commissioner of the new york city health department. she approaches the job as -- from a public health perspective, because that is what our work was before she took the top of the -- what her work was before she took the job at fda.
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she has taken a bit more aggressive position of saying, we are a public health agency and we want to protect public health. you hear that more than from other fda commissioners who have different backgrounds. it is an appointment requiring confirmation. host: you are on with andy zajac of "the l.a. times." caller: thank you for taking my call, and thank you for it c- span. i'm wondering what the guest thinks will happen if the republicans take over both houses of congress. you have people like dr. hamburg will out -- pulled out, silenced? what are they going to do? guest: good question. i think on certain issues like food safety, there is a pretty broad consensus that stronger
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regulation is needed. you would probably see food safety legislation or support for that continued in a republican held congress, at least that aspect of the agency's duties. beyond that, it is really hard to say, because in a lot of cases, so much of the attention has been focused on other agencies. i would never say that the f da is back water, but there has so much attention -- there has been so much attention paid to health care and other issues that the fda has not been in the crosshairs the way it has been in other times. host: the food safety legislation we're talking about has already passed the house, with bipartisan support. broad support. it is sitting in the senate.
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guest: interestingly, tom harkin, chairman of the committee that passed last october, says "i hope we have this done by christmas time." he is talking christmas 2009. it did not happen. host: is dianne feinstein the reason is being held up? guest: i think it is more complicated than that. there was a legitimate delay connected to the fact we had, in national edition overhaul -- we had health-care overhaul, at national regulation overall, taking all the energy in congress. dianne feinstein -- the amendment, the proposal complicates things, but i don't see it as a real deal breaker. host: she has written an op-ed saying she is not holding it up. guest: we are so close to the election, and to the parties
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want to come together and have a moment of comity won the narrative for the election is that there has to be -- when the narrative for the election is that there has to be strife between the parties? the political climate for passing the bill, in spite of the fact that it has brought the board, is not favorable. -- in spite of the fact that it has broad support, is not favorable. caller: i am a farmer from illinois. host: what kind of a farmer? caller: i raise corn beans. when i hear that they wanted to legislation -- what to do legislation to tell us how to i used to raise hogs years ago, and in the winter
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they would almost freeze to death. now they are in environmentally controlled buildings. they had sprinklers that sprinkled them. there could not be a better way to raise them. we have come a long way. it just bothers me, because i don't tell you how to report your newspaper to read a lot of stuff i don't agree with. but i of the -- i don't tell you how to report your newspaper. a lot of stuff i don't agree with. but i been doing this for years and i do it in the most chemical-free way, and it just bothers me when i turned on and they want to do legislation -- host: 8, tom, thank you for calling in. just a couple of questions. you say you want to do it in "the most humane way." what does that mean? caller: i vaccinate might cabs
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and i don't use as many antibiotics -- i vaccinate my calves and i don't use as many antibiotics. we used to never vaccinate the cow was the way we do now. -- cows the way we do now. i hardly use antibiotics. as far as -- they are always saying we use these hormones. i don't use any hormones in my cows. the guys always told that the best hormone is hanging between their legs. people might say that is cruel, but that is the reality of the way you have to do farming business. one other thing before i get off -- the illinois state legislature took action on course slaughter -- horse slaughter and they get it.
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now the horses are sold and -- and they banned it. now the horses are sold and in mexico they are slaughtered. there was 500 jobs, and they just like that off because they said we were not being humane. there are courses that they let loose. they are not worth anything8 -- there are horses that are let loose. they are not worth anything. with legislation, you need to look what happens, because it is not being confronted right now. host: as an inspector ever been to your form? cal -- to your farm? caller: oh, yeah. we would take it steers to a local locker and deliver it, and i would be inspected at my house. if we wanted to do this right, we are going to do it right,
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because if somebody gets sick -- i don't want anybody to get sick. they even come with a gun. host: why do they come with the gun? caller: they told me that they had to shut down restaurants in chicago. they come with a gun and it was purely -- i was not notified in advance. you know, they are giving us a bad name. millions of animals he has raised -- i don't know, i have never been on his place, but i have cousins talking about this, and they do it really good. to do it -- host: you are satisfied with the self-policing aspect? caller: yes, i am.
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host: we are going to have to be that there. you up in a very kind to give us your time. andy zajac, what is your response? guest: just an observation -- the marketplace is wide open. for every ethical farmer, there is a corner-cutting one. there needs to be some regulation. there is some common sense to what tom is saying, that i don't want anybody to get sick so i will raise things in a healthy way, but there are the people who just want to get caught and they don't worry about -- who just don't want to get caught and they don't worry about people getting sick. some regulation is required. not everybody has the same ethical standards that tom does. host: lacrosse, wisconsin, -- la
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crosse, wisconsin, hi. caller: with the price going up and tcattle and hogs chickens raised in a humane way -- there were talking a couple of years ago in california of people with vegetables and the illegals and people with green cards and stuff like that -- they wanted to know how much it would cost if they had a regular u.s. citizen doing it. they came to the conclusion with the survey that was only going to raise a dime a head by the time you got it to the store. by my own way of thinking, a person would be better off to have the chicken, like peter said, pecking at tehe back
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door for the simple reason that it is more sanitary than piling them on top of each other, so high, 3 or if you are feet deep and everything -- 3 or four feet deep and everything. guest: again, the conversation needs to be had in this country about how much prices would increase if we had more humane conditions, and if at the increase, would people be willing to bear those costs? it may well be that the increase, when we strip away all the arguments and rhetoric, is an amount that people are willing to pay. we have not had a conversation. host: andy zajac, thanks for being here to talk about food safety legislation. one more segment in "washington journal" this morning. we will be joined by j. bradford delong, economics professor at
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uc-berkeley, talking about president obama's proposed economic package from a few days ago first, at a news update from c-span radio. >> the number of people signing up for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in two months. the labor department says that new claims for unemployment aid plunged last week by a seasonally adjusted 27,000 to 451,000. analysts note that even with this decline, it is much higher than it would be in a healthier economy. the trade deficit narrowed significantly in july, as exports climbed to the highest level in nearly two years, reflecting big gains in sales of u.s.-made airplanes and other manufactured goods, while imports declined. the commerce department says that the july deficit fell 14% to 42.8 billion.
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president obama is calling on a florida minister to "listen to the better angels" and call off his plan to burn qurans this weekend. he told "good morning america" that he hopes pastor terry jones licenced to people who have called on him to cancel the event. he says that his chief of staff could make a terrific mayor of chicago bridge and traffic fatalities have fallen to the lowest level -- in six could make a terrific mayor of chicago. and traffic fatalities have fallen to the lowest level in six decades. deaths fell 9.7% in 2009 to the lowest number since 1950. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
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>> saul alinsky is considered a modern father of -- considered the father of modern community organizing, and his book "rules for radicals" is about community change. the author of "radical -- a portrait of saul alinsky," sunday night on a "q&a." >> senators and congressmen have been holding town hall meetings in their states and districts, and we've been covering them. watch them on line at the c-span at video library. it is searchable and free on your computer, at any time. this weekend on "booktv,"
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commemorating september 11. lawrence wright, author of "the looming tower," the collapse, the cleanup, and the manpower it took to achieve it. later, arianna huffington of " the huffington post" is interviewed by cnbc's maria bartiromo. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are pleased to have joined us from the university of california at berkeley professor brad delong. we will be talking about economic stimulus and the economy in general. he writes a blog and as a
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professor of economics at uc- berkeley. you have argued in your blog and in writing that the stimulus of 2009, $787 billion stimulus and the proposed stimulus the president has made this week is not enough. why do you argue that? guest: i think after the fact is clear that it is not enough. the idea behind having the government trying to manage the economy as all is that the government does a few strategic interventions at the macro level that you can keep prices stable unemployment high, i'd like the 1970's, when inflation hit 10% -- either like the 1970's, when inflation hit 10%, or now, when unemployment hit 10%. strategic interventions keep the economy on an even keel, and
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right now we're not on an even keel. we are very far away from an even keel. host: can you expand a little bit when you talk about the government managing the man? guest: ok, let me put it away milton friedman would. or milton friedman here and alive today, he was said that in situations like right now, -- would say that in situations like i now, what unemployment is near 10%, rather than the normal level of 5%, there is too little money, too little cash in the economy. as citizens desperately tried to scramble to increase how much cash, to get the cash they want to all, they cut back on spending on goods and services, and that cut back puts a lot of downward pressure on production
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, employment, and then on income, which puts further downward pressure. the right thing to do, milton friedman would say, is you have to make sure that the government makes sure that the economy has enough liquid cash and eight, you print more money to get it into the system, and that is the proper way to stabilize the economy. the government has to manage the money supply so that there is either too little money in the economy, which produces depression, or too much, which produces inflation. uncle milton might say that things were too simple. you manage the money stock and that would be enough. now we think are more things that can go wrong with the economy. it can be short of money, it can also be short of bonds, savings in excess of investment, which
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is what we had in 2002. or right now, you can be in a situation where there is excess demand for some safe place to park your money. all of these arrangements in financial markets produce high unemployment and all of them rcan be cured in a relatively straightforward manner by strategic interventions by the government in how the financial system works. host: what about the deficit, though? a lot of worry about the size of the deficit. guest: not on wall street. in general there are two or is about the deficit, at two reasons the first reason to worry about the deficit is that people who invest in bonds will get scared that the government will inflate away its debt
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rather than paying it back, and as a result will have an outbreak of inflation now because people fear inflation later on. there are absolutely no signs of that at all. you go around wall street and you cannot find a single person willing to trade on the belief that inflation in the united states is going to rise. the second reason to worry about the deficit is that usually deficit spending drives up interest rates, and because it drives up interest rates, it means businesses that want to borrow and invest to build their capacity can't, and so you have low productivity growth because government debt crowds out productive private investments. right now there are absolutely no signs that either of those things are going on. the two valid reasons to worry about having a large government deficit are completely off the table. mightre so far away the muy
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as will be out in the damn car trip. to worry about them now, when we have a bigger problem, 10% unemployment, seems to demonstrate nothing but an extraordinarily misplaced sense of priority. host: if you had been serving in the obama administration, what would you have recommended in february 2009? guest: ah, well, you have to go back to december of 2008. that is when decisions were made, and february of 2009, the things are moving to the house and senate and you do not want to upset the deals that have been made. back in december of 2008, had i been there, i would have done what christy romer and larry summers and peter orszag and company did, recommended a stimulus package of about $800
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billion for the next two, at two and a half years. but also would have recommended other things. i would have said that we have to conduct stress tests of the banks to make sure that the banking system can handle its current crisis, and if the banks don't pass their stress tests, we have to nationalize them in some way. for number three, i would say that we have to lay down a marker, because we don't know how bad things are going to get, and if they get much worse than we are expecting, we will say that we have to do a second round of stimulus, more expansionary policies. in 1937 and 1938, the roosevelt administration made some big mistakes of saying that the depression is licked and we have to go back to more orthodox economic policies. it caused a second downturn
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that we would have called the great depression if we did not have another one coming. the federal reserve has to take action to make people confident that there will not be deflation in the future and that prices will continue on their normal 2% per-year increase. we have to have what economists call quantitative easing. five, we have to have tarp money through a bunch of programs. you have to have the treasury taking on the role of being guarantor for a whole bunch of investments that people are not willing to hold because they overestimate how risky they really are. the treasury will say, we will serve as a backstop and greece these transactions -- grease these transactions. you have five things to do. a big kind of government spending stimulus program to put people back to work, a kind
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stress test to reassure the banks, a marker that there will be no 1937's, quantitative easing on the part of the federal reserve, and the treasury serving as a facilitator of transactions by greasing the wheels and taking on the residual risks associated with a bunch of investments. we wound up doing two of those. we want doing a fiscal stimulus package, and it turned out to be only six convert billion dollars of affected stimulus -- $600 billion of affected stimulus an d of the money that should not have been there. christy romer and larry summers tried to lay down in their speeches no more 1937's, but it does not seem to have taken. the fed has not on the quantitative easing, and
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treasury has not greased financial transactions to get interest rate spreads back to where they ought to be. we have done two of the five things we ought to have done. because we have only done it two of them, the two we did should have been somewhat bigger. host: j. bradford delong is joining us from uc-berkeley. you can send in a tweet as well. we already received several. first call, carlton, new york, michael. caller: are you there? host: we're listening. caller: to me a favor -- the problem is deeper. we had a huge national debt, a huge deficit, a war -- the fed
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is a political machine -- it should be like your upcoming independent central banks to deal with a -- things. independentre up, central banks to deal with things. we are heading for another depression. slow, gradual -- host: all right, michael, we are going to be that there. professor delong, any thoughts on what the caller has to say? guest: i don't think the risk is another great depression now. this is -- the risk is the continued jobless recovery downturns like the one we are in are likely to be followed by a long period where unemployment stays high and comes out only very slowly, and other monetary recessions, the recessions that
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-- as opposed to other monetary recessions, the recessions that milton friedman study, which followed by quick bounce backs. host: palm springs, california, republican line. caller: i have a quick question, quick observation. it looks like we have placed a lot of money into -- we call it stimulus and tarp and everything. this money seems to have altered its way into companies and corporations -- filtered its way to companies and corporations, and it never seems to hit the people. the idea is that we have to pump more in there and the triple-down effect, the american people that 10 cents on the dollar when it finally hits rock bottom.
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the stimulus should have been large, but it should have had a vision to it. they should have gone to the states and say, what is your budget, what is going to be your shortfalls, and pump that money in up front. this is like 1937, and all the economists said, "oh, that is great, we will take care of it." but it seems to me that they could have played a little bit better up front. guest: i think those were deal breakers for susan collins and olympia snowe and also for senator voinovich of ohio, and maybe nelson and lincoln -- i'm not quite sure. the original stimulus package designed by the white house had a very large component of the important thing here is that states keep doing what they ought to be doing with respect to education and infrastructure
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and services and so forth. you need to get 60 votes in the senate and obama did not have 60 votes in the senate. he needed to negotiate with collins and snowe and voinovich and so forth to get them on the side. the components funneled through the states crashed. it was greatly reduced relative to the initial plans because you had to get the crucial swing votes on board. why they were so unwilling to do the sensible thing and fondled as three states -- and funnel this through states is unclear to me. political science professors around here say it is always difficult to get senators to do anything to help states, and the reason is that if the federal government funnels money to the state, the governor gets to be the hero. the governor gets to announce all kinds of good news about what is god to happen, -- what is going to happen and cut
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ribbons and so forth, and the governor goes and runs against the senator for the next election. senators are extremely unwilling to fund programs to states because they fear that the -- governors fu -- funnel programs to states because they fear that governors will use that to take their jobs from them. we wind up pushed into second - and third-best versions of support for the economy. host: how did you come up with the name of your blog? guest: it is so long ago that i have forgotten. host: where 10 people find it? guest: delong.typepad.com. host: marilyn, please go ahead
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with your question. caller: how are you gentleman doing? guest: doing very well. caller: tarp -- $705 billion? the interest on that was $37 billion. up to $1.20 trillion? that could buy pepsi, coca-cola, microsoft, google, and you would have money left over. and now the stimulus, another trillion dollars. all those corporations, you could have bought and sold. $400 billion of that did go to the states to do what they wanted. another $250 billion -- host: all right, where are you going? caller: he is saying that the stimulus was not big enough.
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ok, we're talking about astronomical numbers, in same numbers -- insane numbers. government cannot pick winners. they've never been able to do it. if they went down, little banks closing this year and last year -- the would've bought a good banks, stocks and bonds, made more money for constituents -- host: all right, dr. delong. guest: two comments. first, tarp money. the u.s. government is going to get all but $50 billion of the $700 billion tarp money it committed back. $650 billion of that is going to be repaid. $50 billion is going to be covered by the taxpayers. $50 billion, $107 per american citizen. -- $170 per american citizen.
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that is not a very high price to pay for insurance against the great depression. the numbers are not astronomical. if they are, it is because we have an astronomically big country. $170 per person for insurance against the great depression struck me as a very reasonable price to pay and not out of line at all. the policy of letting big banks fail and entrepreneurs taking it out and going forward -- well, as milton friedman used to say, that is what we tried during the great depression. that is what enter mullan as treasury secretary recommended to herbert hoover, to let the big banks fail, let the big corporations fail, let the bad parts of the economy liquidate themselves and other
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enterprising, smarter people will pick it up and you will have a stronger economy when the process of liquidation is over. if there was anything about which crude roofer was most bitter -- about which herbert hoover was most bitter -- the guy was bitter about many things -- but what he was most bitter about was that he listened to andrew mellon. we tried to let the economy liquidate itself once, and the end result was 1933. we really don't want to go there again. interventions like tarp and so what appeared to be a necessary way of keeping us from getting back to 1933, and it is something we ought to admit and acknowledge appears to be a fact about the world. host: professor delong to one uc-berkeley in 1993 and became a
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full professor in 1997 to serve as deputy secretary of the treasury during the clinton administration. thc an undergraduate degree from harvard university. -- ph.d. and undergraduate degree from harvard university. next call. caller: thanks to letting me call in. great show. you listen to dr. delong talk, and i read quite a lot of paul krugman, and you guys out what a lot alike. you are absolutely right on. this is not rocket science. we have some history to learn from, and it just should be fairly easy to get this stuff done in the government. of course, it is not. my question would be, can you comment on the heritage group,
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the cato group, and these right- wing organizations that sort of got sprung up at the behest of the republican party to present contrary views to very often simple solutions that should be done? and i think they keep our country from moving ahead and solving problems. i will take your answer off line. thank you. guest: well, that is too big a question to possibly answer. the people at the heritage foundation, the people at the cato institute, the people at the american enterprise institute -- most of them are calling it as they see and are trying to make america a better place. i'm not so sure about their funders. last week i got invited to what was called a cato institute
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purge party in response to personnel changes at the cato institute. the feeling that if you don't toe the line that the funders want at the right-wing think tanks, your tenure there is likely to be short. i think that is a valid reason to scrutinize the arguments and qualifications of anything you hear coming out of aei or heritage or cato especially carefully. host: next caller. caller: hello, are bradford. since i'm a republican, and democrats who care about spending ought to be in support of a periled stimulus bill for jobs. trillion's are going to be needed for older and younger unemployed adults with the age
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educationa -- with the educational skills to earn $35 an hour. thank you for taking my call. host: professor delong. guest: if the economy does not recover, state finances at every level will still be an enormous trouble and will continue to be enormous trouble, yes. but there are hopes that what a recovery. it's just the fear that it will not be a very rapid or complete one. host: professor, another part of the equation is the issue of tax cuts, tax increases, tax policy. peter orszag, the former omb director, wrote in "the new york times" a few days ago about the need, in his youth, to extend the bush tax cuts for two years. guest: well, that is not quite
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what peter said. what he said is that he felt the economy needed additional strategic federal interventions to strengthen the economy, and to continue the middle class portion tax cuts would be a good thing to do temporarily for the next two years, that in his view, the ideal policy would be to let the high-income part of the taxes -- of the tax reductions expire, as, in fact, george w. bush put it into the initial bill in 2001, that this was supposed to be a 10-year tax cut and only a 10-year tax cut, middle-class" portion -- and to continue only the "middle class" portion over the next two years. to say that teacher asked for a continuation of all the bush tax cuts -- to say that peter asked for a continuation of all the bush tax cuts for the next two
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years is not correct. he said it might be unnecessary compromise to get congress to do anything before the next election, but it is not the policy he wants to see. host: what are your thoughts about the extension of the tax cuts or the ending of the tax cuts? guest: well, my first thought is that peter is very smart and has just been in the belly of the beast for 20 months, and that his judgment is good. if he says it is time to allow the temporary extension of the middle-class tax cuts for two years into the recovery is stronger, while, i think that is right. if i were running the government right now, i would be looking for other ways of deficit spending that might have a bigger bang for the buck than these are. but this is something that is relatively straight forward to do that congress is trying to do and could be done quickly. i trust his judgment on that. i also trust his judgment on the
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long term, that the united states government has made a whole bunch of long-term commitments in defense, in medicaid, and in medicare, that are not matched by the taxes that we are currently planning on raising. so we either have to decide whether we are going to turn around and say, "you know all the promises we made about how much medicare at the federal government was going to cover? we are not going to do it," or we have to figure out how to raise taxes sometime in the next decade so that the government can fulfill its medicare promise. it seems to be simply a matter of arithmetic. health-care reform is going to help considerably in reducing the long run costs of the health-care system,. so we are either going to take back our medicare promises or raise taxes, and it is best to figure out which of those we are
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going to do and get started on doing it. host: texas, republican, please go ahead with your question for professor brad delong. caller: i got a good question for you, and i know you are from the university. do you know anything -- i have to ask this question first -- do you know anything about the wto? furthermore, the consequences that be up to where we are now -- lead up to where we are now is from the era of the act that is located on thomas.org, which takes all the bills and everything from congress, the voting records and who did not come out right there on the web sites -- who did what, right there on the website. the tarp fund and all the differential things we are encompassing now, as far as the
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general populace of the united states, is going to be continued. therefore, money like tarp, for example -- i don't care whether it is republican or democrat whatever -- how many times can you keep laid out this kind of money and not even checked the wto and get rid of it? guest: well, i actually worked on the wto when i worked for the clinton administration, doing analytical support about whether we should have an organization to referee world trade disputes, and if so, what form it could take and what the consequences were. there, i found myself very rarely on the same side of the issue as newt gingrich, who was an extraordinarily big supporter round, uruguay o
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which was initiated by the george h.w. bush and bought it -- if thought it an extraordinary thing for the economy. as for the tarp, well, one at treasury secretary henry paulson -- when treasury secretary henry paulson went to george w. bush in 2008 and said, "we misjudged the situation and did not understand how bad things are going to get, we need to $700 billion now," and when he then went to nancy pelosi and got down on his knees in front of her and begged her to approve it, he thought that the choice was, as retiring federal reserve, vice chairman donald kohn said, that either we spend
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this money and keep a relatively small number of financiers who made bad decisions from reaping their just desserts, or put the jobs of millions of americans at risk -- a truce between teaching financiers -- a choice between teaching 2000 financier's a lesson on one hand, but that meeting that an extra 400 million americans lose their jobs, there was really no choice. tarp was the correct thing to do, and the second thing was to make sure that you restructure the regulation of financial markets in such a way that you do not get into the same kind of hole and confronted by the same kind of choice again. that was the regulation bill that just passed through the congress with overwhelmingly democratic support but next to no republican support at all.
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if there was one thing that was clear in the fall of 2008, it was truly that the regulatory system of finance was no longer adequate to the structure of the economy. host: professor delong, this tweet -- guest: i think the answer is yes. first of all, technology does not seem to be limiting the need for human capital. over the past 25 years, if there has been a single constant trend, it is that acquiring skills and acquiring formal education in this economy gets rewarded, and in some case awarded extremely handsomely. technology appears to have given us an economy in which there is a shortage of the skills that are useful, rather than a surplus.
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education is more than anything still the road to a portability in america -- road to upward mobility in america. the need for smart people who know how to do things is disappearing as technology advances -- instead, it seems to be getting significantly more intensive as to getting the unemployment rate back below 6%, back in the 18th century, french economists worried about how increasing agricultural productivity in france was going to create mass unemployment, because once you no longer needed peasants with hoes, what were they going to do? in the 19th century, people worried about how the coming of the factory was going to produce mass unemployment, because if you no longer needed huge numbers of craftsmen, what are they going to do? now we are worried about the same thing, but we still have
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millions of telephone switchboard -- operators in -- we used to have millions of telephone switchboard operators and the united states, and now we have an zero. there is no sign that those switchboard operators had trouble finding something to do. we seem to be very good finding things to do and ways to pay for it, and we will continue to do that in the future. host: last call, grand rapids, michigan. caller: i would like to know if the gentleman there would have an idea if the big bailout had something to do with -- a lot of the federal government had their stuff tied in with iga, like your retirement and stuff. and maybe like a flat tax ain't
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no writeoff -- getting back to a basic tax principle. guest: aig, american international group, deciding to make money not against mortgages for fires and floods, but asset price declines instead. i kind of think that the government's rescue, or not- rescue, of aig -- they took all the shareholders' money away and the executives' stock money away, out of the government honored all the contracts that aig made with other financial institutions.
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it would have been better had and bernanke and hank paulson not done that. we and the federal reserve will loan you the money that you were going to get from aig, but in return we will what warrants and an ownership share in your company as well. that would have been much better way of dealing with the situation. then again, the only have 48 hours between the moment that aig announced the trouble it was in, because nobody had seen this coming, and when they had to act. here is something where i think the wrong decision was made, but time pressure was so intense and the situation was so uncertain and bernanke and hank paulson had do something that i am not inclined to blame them for getting that one wrong. host: k. bradford del